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Old October 23, 2014, 04:17 AM   #1
ZVP
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Join Date: May 20, 2010
Posts: 708
I just ordered another '51 Navy

I just got off the phone with Cabela's completeing an order for another /36 caliber Colt replica!
Seems I can't get enough of them andin several models. Just different enough to make it intreting.
The model I ordered is the standard, steel frame/brass backstrap Piettia in .36 caliber. The basic long barrel version that was issued to civil war Army units by the thousands.
I already own a .36 caliber Uberti London model, a '61 Piettia Police model in .36 caliber and a fantasy revolver, a Piettia .44 caliber Navy model (A caliber never actually in production but dreamed up by the manufacturer). This model has a brass frame and gripstrap. The large caliber is supposedly in production to satisfy American shooters. I really don't see the logic in such a venture but they sell many of them! Low price, Big Bang and a pretty frame.
My love affair with the Navy model relates to the great handling qualitys of the Navy model.
Be it in .36 or .44caliber, the revolvers are a pleasure to shoot and in most ases, exhibit pleasing lines. and afford the shooter with a relatively lightweight, easy to carry revolvercombining power, accuracy and reliability.

Of the models I own, each has been chosen for it's individual characteristics
and each is as different from the other as the model line is similar.
Starting with the standard model, the 6 shot .36 caliber revolver has the full length barrel (for maximum powder burn) and is the basic design available from Colt from it's inception.
a model I have longed for but I keep buying alternate models as they catch my eye and mood.
The London model represents production guns made in Great Britan a .36 caliber 6 shot full sized revolver with the Peacemaker style grip. It;s a very comfortable gun to handle and shoot, The Peacemaker grip allows better grip and aids the accuracy of the revolver. They have a steel backstrap and deep blueing.
Overall very good shooters!
The Piettia Police model is another fantasy model, using the '61 frame and a modified and shortened barrel assembly. 6 shot cylinders are usedinstead of the correct 5 of the origonal which is built using a .36 caliber cylinder inside a small .31 caliber frame.
The barrel length is 5 1/2" making this a quick handling piece.
In my opnion, it is an ideal combination of size, 6 shot capacity and a full sized cylinder. This allows for full size revolver charges and full power shots.
The brass framed .44 is another fantasy model built atop a full sized frame and has a cylinder stepped up to accept the .44 ball and charge.
Being a brass framed gun, it is advisable to use only light charges in order to prevent frame damage.
The brass frame acts like a bearing surface of self lubricating qualitys making this model very smooth to shoot and cycle.
I normally load at 20 grains of propellant or under to preserve the revolver. So far these loads have not harmed the gun nd are very accurate!
It was my first BP and not knowing the brass frames were weak I bought it out of ignorance.
Frankily, it's been a really good gun with light recoil and ssuprising power. It turned out well and I don't regret buying the revolver.
I am running out of space to store all these Navies and probablly this will be the last one I buy but you never know... It's a breed that captures you!
ZVP
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Old October 23, 2014, 08:07 AM   #2
45 Dragoon
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Wait till you get to the Big Guns!!! The Walker and various Dragoons!!! THEY . . . . . speak volumes!!!!!

Mike
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Old October 23, 2014, 08:54 AM   #3
StrawHat
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The 51s and 61s are good revolvers. I prefer the 61s but the are built on the same frame (as is the 1860). The grips from the 51 and 61 evolved into what became the 1873 Model P and are fairly universal. I have some of each and prefer the Uberti but that is because they were bought years ago.
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Old October 23, 2014, 05:02 PM   #4
ZVP
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Join Date: May 20, 2010
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Like Mike V. I am fascinated with the .36 caliber Navy model! Those of you who share our interests I hope will enjoy reading these posts about the Navy, sorry to bore the rest of the readers with my hang-up!
I spent last nite and a couple hours today reserching the Navy Colt and it's replicas a bit more.
Naturally, the question of power came to mind so while persuing it I discovered that both the round ball and conical bullet approximate the .380 auto cartrige in FPE. No slouch, but it will not knock an opponent off his feet either.
Penetration is the key to evaluating preformance of any caliber/bullet. Will it go in and reach vitals? This necessary point was the guideline for performance evaluations. This is where the Navy Colt won it's reputation as a fighting handgun! It's ball/bullet was a good penetrator both close in and from the Hickock vs Tutt battle, at long range too! Projectile weight and shape differing little inthe .36 Navy. Both had very good penetration capibilities.
Using propellant charges of 20 to 25 gr of propellant gave velocities between 00fps and 1000fps, way more than adequate for the task.
The effectiveness of the revolver/caliber combination is evidenced by thelong production run of the Navy model, from 1850 through 1872! Production generally ceased with the introduction of the cartridge firing Peacemaker.
Variants of the basic Navy model were built during the Navy's long run, used widely and appreciated by their owners.
As posted above, todays manufacturers have expanded the model's line by introducing several "fantasy" models of varying features and calibers. in reality most never existed but actually have proven to be refreshing departures from the basic Navy plus being,in most cases, good performers! The .44 caliber versions produce tremendous FPE advantages while retaining the origonal'ssize and weight.
Modified with shorter barrels, grips, and sights, these fantasy gunsoffer some actually practical and useful features.
Back in the day of actual production, variants were few because of the Civil War and other commercial commitments that Colt had so dallying with the proven original was more prudent.
Back to todays variants, owning "one of each" affords todays shooter with some very intresting opportunities to find a favorite. personally I enjoy the Origonal, the Piettia Police, and especially the London reproductions. All charged with the same load, 22gr of propellant, filler as needed, a felt wad and round ball, set off with a Remington percussion cap.
It'll be a long wait till the 31'st when my standard model arrives via UPS, I hate the wait but I'm cheap!
Shooting impressions and comparisons of the various models to follow.
ZVP
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Old October 23, 2014, 05:52 PM   #5
Crawdad1
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Its place in history and its constant reference when reading contemporary accounts makes it tops among all handguns.
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